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Daugaard Primary Power Again Unreliable

Maybe Governor Dennis Daugaard should just stay home during the primaries. As in 2012, the Governor’s contributions to GOP Legislative primary candidates in 2016 appear to have produced no better results than flipping a coin.

As of May 27, Governor Daugaard had blessed nine Republicans with contributions to help them beat fellow Republicans in yesterday’s primary. (Post-primary reports may reveal more assistance from the boss.) Daugaard favorites Senator Larry Tidemann, Senator Deb Peters, Senator Alan Solano, Senator Terri Haverly, and Representative Jeff Partridge all won their Senate primaries against radical right-wing party outsiders. Daugaard-favored incumbents Senator Bruce Rampelberg, Representative Roger Solum, and Representative Jacqueline Sly all lost Senate primaries to radical right-wingers.

In the most stinging rebuke to the Governor, the incorrigible District 19 rejected brand-spankin’-new pol and Rounds yes-boy Caleb Finck in favor of Establishment bête noire Stace Nelson. (No, Bob, Stace didn’t have to be disciplined in 2012; the GOP leadership chose to punish him for challenging their partisan authority, just as they chose to punish Lee Schoenbeck this year for speaking his mind.)

We can argue that Daugaard squeaked out a win in these contests, 5–4. Recovering from a prematurely published story last night that flipped those numbers, Bob Mercer can contend that counting gubernatorial appointees brings Daugaard’s Tuesday tally down to 5–6. Either way, Daugaard’s primary influence seemed to have as little discernible effect in driving victories as it did in 2012.

There’s a strange contradiction here: liberals and conservatives alike grumble that the Governor’s office dominates the direction of the Legislature during Session, yet when primary season rolls around, his dominance over Legislative candidates disappears.


  1. Steve Sibson 2016-06-08 09:31

    “radical right-wingers”

    I get catch hell for using labels. Hypocrites.

    “GOP leadership chose to punish him for challenging their partisan authority”

    No Stace challenged their liberal policies.

    “liberals and conservatives alike grumble that the Governor’s office dominates the direction of the Legislature during Session”

    I am sure the governor appreciates all the help he got from the Democrats to pass two major tax increases in back to back sessions during this last cycle. The 50/50 results last night show that some South Dakotans are confused about what is really going on in Pierre.

  2. Rorschach 2016-06-08 09:48

    The GOP party deserves the miserable narcissist they picked in District 19 as much as they deserve the miserable narcissist they picked as their presidential nominee. Nobody besides the GOP party deserves to be afflicted by either one of them.

  3. Steve Sibson 2016-06-08 09:55

    Rorshach, sad you support crony capitalism.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-08 10:00

    Ror, I am intrigued by the comparison of Trump and Nelson. They certainly don’t follow similar life paths. Do you think Nelson’s words are as untrustworthy (perhaps I should say meaningless) as Trump’s?

    [On comment relevance: Sometimes I feel like we’re all trying to row a leaky boat to shore in a thunderstorm, and Sibby’s peering over the gunwale shouting, “Hey! This boat was made in Malaysia!”]

  5. Rorschach 2016-06-08 10:14

    They are both narcissists. Extremely resistant to criticism of any sort – lash out at the slightest perceived slight even when it’s obvious to everyone else that the criticism is valid. In their own minds neither can do any wrong – but everybody else is wrong. And everybody else is a _______ (insert pejorative here). Both see themselves as heros and will mansplain to you why that is. Delight in tearing down others. No self-awareness of their own many faults. Narcissists.

  6. Darin Larson 2016-06-08 10:15

    Ror’s comparison of Trump and Nelson is on the mark at least as far as the bullying tactics used by each and the arrogance conveyed in their message. The key difference of course is that Nelson is the SD Republican caucus’s problem and Trump is the entire nation’s problem.

  7. mike from iowa 2016-06-08 10:26

    Darin, you did a great job figuring out the state’s and nation’s problems. So whose problem is Sibby?

  8. Steve Sibson 2016-06-08 10:35

    The only relevant comparison between Stace and Trump is the Establishment GOP hates both of them. That point is the only good thing I can say about Trump, whereas there are many more good things to say about Stace.

    Now if we want to do something about the crony capitalism, don’t we need people who are not afraid to piss them off? If we want to do something about crony capitalism in Pierre, then we need to get behind people like Stace. Rorschach is letting his emotions get into the way of doing something constructive about the system of legalized corruption that is oppressing the good citizens of South Dakota. Sadly most don’t even know it, and people running around trashing conservatives are only adding to that problem. And what I am describing is not a boat, it is reality. So stop with the emotional reactions and start thinking.

  9. Rorschach 2016-06-08 10:44

    A useful idiot is still an idiot.

  10. Darin Larson 2016-06-08 11:02

    Mike, I think Sibby is our problem here at DFP or maybe his mom’s problem when she has to yell down to the basement for him to quit tying up the phone line with his dial-up modem. :)

  11. Steve Sibson 2016-06-08 11:12

    Who was it that gave me crap last week for name calling? Hypocrites won’t get the job done. All you guys are doing is creating an environment where the corrupted crony capitalist system can thrive.

    The SDGOP primary results were mixed, as Cory has pointed out. That means Daugaard’s power machine is still in control. When will the anti-Establishment conservatives going to get some respect and cooperation from you people?

  12. Roger Cornelius 2016-06-08 11:44

    During this primary season has Sibson said anything new? Anything at all.

    He is an out of control parrot.

  13. Steve Sibson 2016-06-08 11:50

    “During this primary season has Sibson said anything new?”

    All you seem to say is that white male Christians deserve to be hated. So why don’t you do something different and deal with my idea on handling the Daugaard administration’s crony capitalism. Instead of personal attacks, get back on topic.

  14. Roger Cornelius 2016-06-08 12:18

    Where did I say anything about white male Christians?
    Again, Sibson is hearing voice in his head. Get help!

  15. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-06-08 12:44

    For all of you narcissist spotters out there, you will have ample opportunity to see a real one in action in the next Governor’s election, when current Sioux Falls Mayor, Huether is the Democratic candidate for governor.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-08 13:02

    I’m seeing more commentary about Sibby than about Daugaard, Nelson, Trump, and real SDGOP dynamics. Shame on us. Add Sibby to the Trump-Nelson narcissist club and come back to the main issue: why doesn’t the Governor’s endorsement go farther when he seems to run things during Session?

  17. mike from iowa 2016-06-08 13:30

    Daugaard is a lame duck and he never has seemed to be a strong, forceful leader. Doesn’t seem to be his style. Appears more like a fill-in between corrupt Rounds and the next corrupt wingnut guv.

  18. grudznick 2016-06-08 13:49

    Because the wackos come out in a jihadish quantity over the saner folk, Mr. H.

  19. Steve Sibson 2016-06-08 14:08

    “why doesn’t the Governor’s endorsement go farther when he seems to run things during Session”

    Because neither he and the liberal legislators represent the majority of South Dakotan voters.

  20. Steve Sibson 2016-06-08 14:10

    “Where did I say anything about white male Christians?”

    Roger, in case you have not noticed…I am a white male Christian and so is Stace nelson.

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-08 14:31

    Sibby, stop abusing the language. Daugaard, Mickelson, et al. are not liberals. They are just people you don’t like who don’t adhere to any real principle other than political opportunism and favoritism.

    Now, that said, if Daugaard, Mickelson, et al. do not represent the majority of South Dakota voters (a statement with which I and my Democratic allies agree wholeheartedly), why is Daugaard able to exercise so much sway over the Legislature during Session? And why does the majority not show up to turn those unprincipled opportunists out?

  22. Roger Cornelius 2016-06-08 14:40

    No I didn’t notice Sibson nor do I care.

    Daugaard is pretty Blah and always has been. He had the potential to make meaningful productive changes in South Dakota like Medicaid Expansion and wasted his political capital on pettiness. If he had any significant control over the legislature he didn’t demonstrate it when he let the potty debate go on and on. Yes, he did the right thing in the end by vetoing the bill, but so much time was wasted.
    By scoring only 50% on his political picks, it shows how much influence he really has.

  23. Troy 2016-06-08 15:24

    Three comments:

    1) I think endorsements only impact on the smallest of margins unless they are backed with a piece of solid information (ala “Jimbo is a rapist”) or is contrary to expectations (ala Governor flipping his support in all the above races)

    2) The Governor doesn’t pick the easy races to endorse but the hard ones.

    3) I’ve never reacted to an endorsement. Has any of you?

  24. 96Tears 2016-06-08 15:43

    I’ve said some pretty harsh things about Dennis Daugaard in this blog, and I periodically try to reassess people in public life. This is such an opportunity.

    Daugaard, as I’ve been told by many Democrats who know him, is a decent and humble man. I remember his time in the State Senate and thought his ability to get elected far outshined his deeds as an officeholder. When Rounds put him on the ticket, I don’t think he added much other than votes out of his corner in rural Minnehaha and Moody counties (which Rounds didn’t need against Jim Abbott). For the most part, his negatives come from his association with the excesses and corruption of the Rounds Administration. His daughter’s job with Lawrence & Schiller (and its corrupt contract with the state) and hiring his churlish, highly partisan son-in-law as chief-of-staff echoed the “family first” corruption of Mike Rounds, who hand-selected Daugaard as his successor. Then came the Anderson Seed scandal, EB-5 and Gear Up abuses, and the fallout splattered and soiled Dennis Daugaard instead of the racketeer who was at the center of government payola for pals.

    Without having ever met Dennis Daugaard, I do think he is a decent and humble man in a dishonest and increasingly dishonorable business. He wasted his first term and the first year of his second term being the fall guy for Rounds’ corruption. I think he turned a corner since January (the Shantel Krebs effect?) and appears more interested in being a good governor and letting go of the past. I think he’s beginning to realize that playing the partisan game only wastes what little time he now has to distinguish his tenure as governor other than being Mike Rounds’ splash guard. The chump holding Rounds’ bag of flaming fecal matter.

    I think this is reflected in the small influence he had with frequent voters in his own party.

    Now with only two more regular legislative sessions and two and a half years left to call himself Governor of South Dakota, it will be interesting to see what substantive, meaningful things Dennis Daugaard does to correct the course of his administration’s legacy. It’s not too late, but he better kick things into high gear.

  25. 96Tears 2016-06-08 15:49

    Troy – Excellent point. The exception is Bill Janklow’s nasty-grams which bitterly raked Democrats over the coals in his second eight years in office. One Republican, Bob Weber, got the Jankster treatment in the mail and turned his GOP base against him after decades of public service as a farm advocate.

  26. Steve Sibson 2016-06-08 16:18

    “Daugaard, Mickelson, et al. are not liberals.”

    Daugaard added to major tax increases and vetoed the transgender bathroom bill. He is a liberal. Policy positions, not party registration dictate political philosophy.

    “why is Daugaard able to exercise so much sway over the Legislature during Session? And why does the majority not show up to turn those unprincipled opportunists out?”

    Because most people wrongly believe Daugaard is a conservative.

  27. mike from iowa 2016-06-08 17:10

    Sibby, you keep flogging them same old dead horses over and over to the point you have violated SD Codified Law- § 34-16-17 Failure to dispose of dead animal as petty offense.

    Petty-like much of your complaining about Cory and HIS website.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-08 17:13

    Troy, if endorsements don’t make a difference, why do pols keep making them?

  29. Paul Seamans 2016-06-08 17:27

    As a citizen lobbyist I have had the occasion to visit with Stace Nelson during the legialature. When Stace told me something I was able to take him at his word. That makes Stace okay with me.

  30. Troy 2016-06-08 18:21

    I think they do on occasion make a difference. But not often and only in the closest of races. In our Legislative races, we don’t really know (no polling) what the real situation is so they throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks.

  31. Stace Nelson 2016-06-08 19:21

    There’s a lot of projecting going on here with some folks that think waaaay too much of themselves and evidently of my physical attributes. Anyone calling me a narcissist shows a patent disregard for the meaning of that term and of me personally. I am an ugly, balding/graying, overweight, caricature of my younger self, both mentally and physically ? Additionally, in order to be the egocentric part of narcissism, I in fact would have never been a Marine or a cop.

    Such ad hominem attacks show a terminal insecurity of the offender.

    @Payl Seamans Thank you for the candor and mutual respect.

  32. Rorschach 2016-06-08 19:42

    Pretty good assessment of Dennis Daugaard, 96 Tears. First Lady Linda Daugaard is also a good person.

    Rounds did leave them holding a flaming bag of fecal matter which they have dutifully held onto for the good of the party. For the good of the state they should return the still burning bag to Rounds and force him to deal with it. Of all the things Gov. Daugaard could accomplish in the next 2 1/2 years, imposing accountability on Rounder would be among the greatest.

  33. owen reitzel 2016-06-08 19:46

    I’d have to agree with Troy. I don’t think an endorsement means a lot unless the endorser in highly thought of. I don’t think Daugaard falls into that category.

    “When will the anti-Establishment conservatives going to get some respect and cooperation from you people?”
    We’ll respect you Sibson when you quit talking nonsense. Respect is something you have to earn and you haven’t earned it.

    By the way, I’m a white male Christian as well. I don’t think Roger hates me.

  34. Roger Cornelius 2016-06-08 19:57

    What I’ve been watching closely this past week is kind of the reverse of endorsements.
    Following up on Trump’s racist comments about the American/Mexican judge, there have been a number of high profile republicans that have withdrawn or plan to withdraw their endorsement of Trump if he doesn’t clean up his campaign in the next 3 weeks.
    Trump in his stupidity has completely ignored the down ticket in many republican races.
    Senators Rubio won’t speak for Trump at the convention as once scheduled.
    Corker said to clean up in two or three weeks or not endorsement.
    Senator Kirk gave his endorsement and quickly withdrew it.
    Sandoval simply said no way Trump.
    Do endorsement matter, I’m not sure, but I’m pretty certain that sometimes politicians wish they didn’t give them.

  35. Steve Sibson 2016-06-09 08:01

    “We’ll respect you Sibson when you quit talking nonsense.”

    Owen, then you need to explain to me why those of us who speak out against the crony capitalists are talking nonsense.

  36. Steve Sibson 2016-06-09 09:20

    “I’m a white male Christian as well.”

    I was not totally correct Owen. I should have said white male Christian conservative are hated by you liberals. And I have backup for that position:

    “But the fact of the matter is — anyone unwilling to engage in productive, open, mutually critical conversations with people they disagree with under the moral protection of liberalism and social justice are not liberals, are not social justice advocates, and are not social justice warriors; they are social justice bullies.”

  37. Roger Cornelius 2016-06-09 11:39

    Unsuccessful blog person seems to be working extra hard to be a victim.

  38. Jenny 2016-06-09 11:45

    I guess we’re social justice bullies now, Roger. Wonder what we’ll be next month :) .
    Isn’t Cory’s blog fun, Sib!

  39. mike from iowa 2016-06-09 13:04

    Keerist, now the Sibbinator is carrying a gun for backup.

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